Agricultural machinery Collection

This collection of printed documents traces the history of over a century of agricultural machinery in France. It includes test reports from SEMA, the world's first agricultural machinery test station, founded in 1888, as well as numerous technical and educational works on agricultural machinery, published by its subsequent organisations, all of which are ancestors of INRAE.

Agricultural machinery has undergone a long evolution since the end of the 19th century, before becoming today’s “high-tech” machinery, automated and very large.

From the end of the 19th century and for sixty years, engineers and technicians of SEMA, working in the first agricultural machinery test station, tested numerous agricultural machines, large and small, motorised and not. This collection now makes available the hand-written test notebooks, bearing witness to agricultural inventiveness and providing unique information on these machines, their possible uses and characteristics.

During the twentieth century, several organisations dedicated to the progress of agricultural machinery succeeded one another: the Cneema (the French National Centre for the Study and Experiment of Agricultural Machinery), created in 1955, and the Cemagref (the French National Centre of Agricultural Machinery, Rural Engineering, Water and Forestry) created in 1981. They continued SEMA's work on agricultural machinery and have thus played a major role in disseminating this knowledge, by publishing numerous technical and educational works on the maintenance, operation and good practice of agricultural machinery.

The SEMA documents

The CNEEMA documents

The CEMAGREF documents

On the same subject

  • armchair ploughing

    Armchair ploughing

    Agate presents its current favorite.
    Within our collections, numerous illustrations or photographs deserve to be exhibited for their aesthetic quality or originality. Today, a "motorisation in the mountains" mission with ploughing on a armchair.

  • In front of the test hall, Whitman forage press, 1899
    Agricultural Machinery

    The agricultural machinery test station, a photographic report

    Bringing together two archives to revive one of our ancestors or: how can we revive the agricultural machinery testing station at the turn of the 20th century from old photos and an article from 1900?